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The real takeaway from this year's Paris-Roubaix

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The real takeaway from this year's Paris-Roubaix

Old 04-11-11, 05:45 PM
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The real takeaway from this year's Paris-Roubaix

What would that be Uncle Pcad you ask? Thor Hushovd's selfless shadowing of and refusal to work with F. Cancellarra in the final kms of the race of course. Not for nothing, but the God of Thunder steadfastly refused to work with Spartacus even though it's reasonable to conclude that if he had, the trio might have closed down the gap to Hushovd's team mate van Summeren, who only won by 19 seconds. It is further reasonable to surmise that in a group of 3-4 nobody would have out-sprinted the God of Thunder for the win in that situation.

But Hushovd wasn't about to chase down his own team mate. So Thor took one for the team. Not every big cycling star out there sniffing a career-enhancing huge classic win (arguably the crown jewel of classics) would have done what Thor did yesterday. The French press actually gave him grief for this (some blather about disgracing the rainbow jersey, etc.). That's crap. Thor was a class act Sunday. When team director J. Vaughters went over to Trek/Leopard's director to apologize for Thor not working with Cancellara, the Trek director would have none of it, congratulating the Garmin squad on superb team tactics played to perfection.

It made me all dewey eyed. As dewey-eyed as I can ever get about cycling.
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Old 04-11-11, 05:49 PM
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Class dismissed.
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Old 04-11-11, 05:54 PM
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Uncle Pcad...

As much as it pains me to say this, I agree with you 100%. I wonder how many other cyclists out there would have had the team in mind with that ripe a plum just waiting to be picked.
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Old 04-11-11, 05:55 PM
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Thor has been a great teammate this year, leading out Farrar a couple times, and then this. Even in the rainbow jersey. Hopefully he'll get a chance to be the big man again at some point during the season.
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Old 04-11-11, 06:06 PM
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Hopefully Thor gets a few more opportunities like that again so that he can have a little glory himself.
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Old 04-11-11, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
What would that be Uncle Pcad you ask? Thor Hushovd's selfless shadowing of and refusal to work with F. Cancellarra in the final kms of the race of course. Not for nothing, but the God of Thunder steadfastly refused to work with Spartacus even though it's reasonable to conclude that if he had, the trio might have closed down the gap to Hushovd's team mate van Summeren, who only won by 19 seconds. It is further reasonable to surmise that in a group of 3-4 nobody would have out-sprinted the God of Thunder for the win in that situation.
I don't think his actions were as selfless as you proclaim. Had Thor done his share of the work bridging up to the front group it was very likely, given FC's form, that FC would have ridden away from Thor long before Thor had a chance to sprint.

Good team tactics but not selfless. Thor, or his team, knew he didn't have a chance unless he could get towed to the front without working.
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Old 04-11-11, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I don't think his actions were as selfless as you proclaim.
Maybe not, but when I make a BF Papal Proclamation, you should STFU and kiss my BF Ring anyway.
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Old 04-11-11, 06:53 PM
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garmin had a full house, two in the front and three including thor in pursuit. lots of ways to play that hand and win.

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Old 04-11-11, 06:55 PM
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Thor > Cav
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Old 04-11-11, 07:24 PM
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JVS didn't make his solo attempt until well after Thor sucked Fabians wheel. Prior to that he was in a pretty big lead group and Vaughters had him up to support Thor. My money is on he and Ballan thought Spartacus would solo them to the lead pack and they didn't want to do any work.
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Old 04-11-11, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by NathanC View Post
Thor > Cav
Cav < Thor < FC

Fixed.
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Old 04-11-11, 07:30 PM
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taking one for the team. who does that in pro sports these days? how old fashioned.
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Old 04-11-11, 07:32 PM
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You know Pcad you might be onto something there and I'll admit I'm rethinking my view of the race. I thought Thor was scared of FC and refused to work for that reason but your scenario makes sense and Garmin did win the race.

Btw the Mets really, really suck.
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Old 04-11-11, 07:37 PM
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#1 If Boonen is there Johan gets caught. Tom might ride himself into the ground and let Fabu ride away in the end but no way he sits and plays defense.
#2 If Canc's attack wasn't foiled by the tv moto Thor and Ballan would have been fighting for top 10 not for the win.
#3 If Cancellara wasn't riding without a team he would have probably won.

One of these teams is weaker than the other. See if you can pick.
Garmin
(1) Shoomie
(8) Hushovd
(20) Vanmarcke
(23) Rasch
(28) Farrar
(49) Klier
DNF Hammond
DNF Haussler

Leopard Trek
(2) Cancellara
(94) Mortenson
DNF Klemme
DNF Nizzolo
HD OGrady
DNF Posthuma
DNF Stamsnijder
DNF Weylandt
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Old 04-11-11, 08:05 PM
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Agree...Thor could have gone for bigger glory but didn't chase down a super hard worker and it paid off in a win and I would wager team morale. The next time JVS is working for Thor I bet he works harder than ever.
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Old 04-11-11, 08:21 PM
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All very simple, straightforward, and obvious if you understand anything about bike racing. Did you recently read "Tour de France for Dummies" or something? The remarkable thing in my book is how well Cancellara wound up doing. The guy is a powerhouse.
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Old 04-11-11, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
The remarkable thing in my book is how well Cancellara wound up doing. The guy is a powerhouse.
Agreed. Here's an experiment I REALLY wish we could do:
Take Cancellara's times from De Ronde or Paris-Roubaix, where he rode first wheel the majority of the time.
Now compare that time to EVERYONE ELSE if they had had to ride the race without sucking Cancellara's wheel. All things the same, except no Cancellara.

There's a reason he's the master of the time trial; he's stronger, faster, and more consistent, for longer periods of time than anyone else in the pro peloton. The reason he doesn't destroy them is that he's racing classics as if they're time trials, but his opponents can legally draft him.
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Old 04-11-11, 09:04 PM
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people don't seem to understand the noble art of wheelsucking. But no matter how big the sacrifice and how much we are looked down for it, us wheelsuckers are selfless creatures.
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Old 04-11-11, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I don't think his actions were as selfless as you proclaim. Had Thor done his share of the work bridging up to the front group it was very likely, given FC's form, that FC would have ridden away from Thor long before Thor had a chance to sprint.
Regardless, Thor beating Spartacus would have been a crapshoot, while van Summeren was a safer bet for the team. Which fits Vaughters' general modus operandi, which is have a plan, and have a couple alternate plans, too. And a strong team.
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Old 04-11-11, 10:20 PM
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Cancellara, faced with the choice of losing the race by pulling Thor to victory, or losing the race by dropping back into the main chase group, chose to drop back, rather than be Thor's biatch. This gave van Summeren the win. So it was a good race strategy to neutralize Cancellara.

Speaking of race tactics, the timing of Cancellara's attack was a bit too late, obviously, but as far as a split second decision to drop Thor, it was a thing of beauty. For one brief second, Thor was behnd two other wheels, and Cancellara launched right then, getting the gap he needed to neutralize him. He was probably waiting for that moment for half the race, and he hit it like a snake hits a rat: bam!

And regarding the decision by the directeur sportiff, van Summeren was in too good of a position to squander on a chance for Thor to bridge. He had to let van Summeren run with it.
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Old 04-11-11, 10:30 PM
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It's a great situation when you can sit on someone's wheel and ignore the elbow flick: "Sorry, man. I got a guy in the break."
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Old 04-12-11, 12:12 AM
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Yeah, I think we all agree that the strongest rider didn't win. The smartest team did. What's old fashioned is there are a lot of people who think that's inadequate for a classic but that's the way it turned out and they're not happy.
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Old 04-12-11, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
#1 If Boonen is there Johan gets caught. Tom might ride himself into the ground and let Fabu ride away in the end but no way he sits and plays defense.
#2 If Canc's attack wasn't foiled by the tv moto Thor and Ballan would have been fighting for top 10 not for the win.
#3 If Cancellara wasn't riding without a team he would have probably won.

One of these teams is weaker than the other. See if you can pick.
Garmin
(1) Shoomie
(8) Hushovd
(20) Vanmarcke
(23) Rasch
(28) Farrar
(49) Klier
DNF Hammond
DNF Haussler

Leopard Trek
(2) Cancellara
(94) Mortenson
DNF Klemme
DNF Nizzolo
HD OGrady
DNF Posthuma
DNF Stamsnijder
DNF Weylandt
Can you imagine if Hammond and Haussler wouldn't have wrecked out? Those are two more super strong classic riders.
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Old 04-12-11, 12:54 AM
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I couldn't believe how many spills "Bonin' " ended up taking. He wasn't meant to win this one, that's for sure.

I was hoping for Cancellara, but his final attack was too late. Maybe he was holding out to store up every last bit of energy before unleashing it, but in the end it was too late. I wonder how close the race would have been if he never got blocked by the tv motorcycle on his first attempt...

As for Thor, he did what any well-paid team player would do. He'll get his chance next year.
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Old 04-12-11, 12:58 AM
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